Friday, December 28, 2012

How gymnastics classes help New Year’s resolutions stick

Every year, much of the population sets New Year’s resolutions, some of which they stick to and many to which they don’t. For some, it comes down to willpower and for others it’s lack of discipline. Here’s an interesting thought—did you ever consider how gymnastics classes could help you stick to your resolutions?

We’re not just talking about staying true to a resolution of taking more gymnastics classes or having perfect attendance at them—though those are good resolutions too. It’s more about how spending time at a center or school for gymnastics can give you the tools you need to improve your chances of sticking to those goals for changing your life. Here are a few ways that gymnastics can help you.

Discipline. Practicing regularly at a school for gymnastics will help you develop the discipline that is essential to having success not only in the sport, but in other areas of life. It will help you to stick to the resolution to start something new or end an old habit.

Positivity. Regular practice and participation in performances and competitions helps you develop the confidence and attitude necessary to adhere to your resolutions. The progressive element of gymnastics helps build self-esteem as students move on to more advanced levels, which instills the “can do” attitude needed to stay on track with the promises made at the New Year.   

Skills. One of the amazing benefits of gymnastics is that significantly improves performance in other sports and physical activities. Flexibility, power and strength are all developed from the first class taken. The flexibility helps prevent injuries in other sports, while the power and strength garnered can boost speed and agility, helping you to hit a golf ball harder, run faster when catching a football, or navigate through intense defense when heading down the basketball court. In addition, gymnasts learn components that are essential to teamwork, such as cooperation, sportsmanship and consideration. Whether it’s with golf, Pilates classes, volleyball or participating in a mud run, gymnastics will boost overall performance.

image credit:

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

How Gymnastics Classes Boost Performance in Other Sports

If you or your child has ever attended gymnastics camps or gone to a gymnastics school, you know that this incredible sport boosts overall fitness in a variety of ways. It significantly improves strength, helps to develop coordination and balance, and increase flexibility. But did you know that taking gymnastics classes also provides a solid foundation for many other sports and physical activities?

A no-brainer is that attending at gymnastics school benefits those who participate in cheerleading, whether competitive or non-competitive. Yet some of the other sports it helps to improve may surprise you—gymnastics provides a solid basis for training in martial arts, dance, swimming and diving. While much of this is due to the agility, strength and power one develops through gymnastics classes, it can also be attributed to the discipline, focus, confidence and ethic that one also attains.

Since gymnastics is unrivalled as a sport when it comes to flexibility, it significantly helps with the prevention of injuries, which obviously benefits any other sports the student participates in. Yet the advantages spread much further than that—for example, a student that we interviewed at a Torrance gymnastics school informed us that she also played for her school’s basketball team. The strength and agility she continues to develop further enhances her performance in this seemingly unrelated sport.

Many other students at this same Torrance gymnastics school also play softball, baseball, football and basketball because these sports benefit from increased flexibility. Gymnasts also have the maximum bone density of any other athletes, which enables them to further boost their power and strength, which enhances any sport that requires you to hit or throw a ball—even tennis players and golfers will reap the benefits!

Attending gymnastic camps can even help sports that require mental clarity and concentration, as students learn to listen and follow directions, set goals, cooperate with others and work as a team. More importantly, gymnastics teaches students about sportsmanship, dedication and fair play, traits that will help them in every aspect of life.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Gymnastics classes and weight loss

Many people of all ages and fitness levels are thinking about how the holidays will affect their weight. While the majority of individuals wait for the New Year to roll around to think about upgrading their fitness regime, there’s a good number who think proactively and are trying to increase their workouts during this time of year. This makes it the perfect time to mix up your workout—why not try some recreational gymnastics classes?

Those who participate in gymnastic competitions have some of the slimmest, most toned and athletic figures you’ll ever see. But if you ever visit a gymnastics center, you’ll notice that most of the students are typically in great shape, whether or not they’re at competitive levels. This attests to the fact that gymnastics training makes your body stronger and more flexible, and also burns a lot of calories and fat.

When you take gymnastics classes, it helps develop lean muscle, which ultimately raises your metabolism, helps burn fat and promotes weight loss. It also improves overall wellness, coordination and agility. While the majority of adults don’t start classes with the goal of participating in competitive gymnastics, the training is great for people who get bored with other workouts and need to switch their routine up. While some workouts get stale and almost feel like work, this rarely happens with gymnastics. It’s a fun activity that never gets boring and is always challenging and exciting.

While losing weight is not the reason that children should sign up at a gymnastics center, it will help instill a healthy lifestyle and a passion for fitness. For adults, it’s a great way to burn calories, maintain flexibility and develop the lean muscle that is crucial for a toned, slim physique. So if you’re worried about your calorie consumption over the holidays, you might want to augment your routine with a fun workout like gymnastics!

Image Source:

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

What age is too old to start gymnastics?

Many people ages 12 and up ask the question, “Am I too old to start gymnastics?” Taking gymnastics classes can be both physically and mentally demanding, and while it’s typically thought of as a sport for children and teenagers, we firmly believe that it can be beneficial and fun for people of all ages.

While the Olympics gymnastic competitions tend to be comprised of teens or those in their early 20s, there are many collegiate gymnasts who are performing at their very best levels. While it may be more difficult but not impossible to compete when you begin at a later age, people of all ages start attending a gymnastics center with the intention of simply improving fitness and flexibility. It’s a disciplined sport that focuses on building balance, coordination and precision—skills that everyone at all fitness levels can benefit from.

While it can be more difficult to start at a gymnastics school later in life, it’s a sport that can be learned at any age. As a discipline, it provides an array of benefits, such as excellent flexibility training, an area that should be cultivated our entire lives. Gymnastics classes also help foster mental focus and increase strength, which will benefit your other physical activities or any sports you participate in. Plus, it promotes a healthier lifestyle overall.

There are actually some benefits to starting training at a gymnastic school at a later age. If you’re an adult, you most likely already have some sort of athletic background or experience in strength training, sports, dance, yoga or at a Pilates studio that will benefit your work at a gymnastics center. It’s a great sport to cross-train with another regimen, to boost skills and develop strength more rapidly. In addition, adults typically possess greater concentration and focus, which bolsters progression.

On a side note, while it can be more injury-prone for adults, never say never when it comes to gymnastic competitions. The older you are, the less likely you are to compete at an elite level, but there are exceptions, such as 42-year-old Tina Wise, Maryland's oldest competing gymnast, a member of First Class’ Level 9 team.

Image Source:

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Judging gymnastics competitions for yourself

judging gymnastics competitions
While the intricacies of the Code of Points may be a little difficult to understand, it’s actually easy to watch gymnastic competitions and determine which gymnasts and routines are great, good and not so good. While there are many nuances and elements a professional judge looks for, you can easily make a fair assessment even if you’ve never attended a gymnastics school.

Form and Execution. No matter how difficult the routine or maneuver, a gymnast should always look like they’re in control of their movement. In a best case scenario, every skill demonstrated will appear effortless. Whether a student attends a South Bay gymnastics facility or one in another part of the country, students should learn all the intricacies of good form, from an overall tightness to the body and straight limbs to pointed toes.

Innovation. You don’t have to be a professional judge of gymnastic contests to recognize a routine’s uniqueness. A great gymnast’s routine will stand apart from those of their competitors, whether it’s through high-risk maneuvers, skills that are unique or the personal style and flair that they bring.

Height and Distance. A good gymnast will fly above the balance bar and appear to explode off the apparatus they’re performing on. While a good gymnastics school can teach the proper technique for jumps, leaps and flips, it’s up to the gymnast to practice consistently to develop their power and strength.

A Stuck Landing. A student from a local South Bay gymnastics school shared with us what s “stuck landing” is: basically, the gymnast’s feet should not move once they land. Points are typically deducted and the gymnast will look off balance when they experience a stuck landing—it will almost appear as if they are stumbling.

Image Source:

Friday, October 12, 2012

Tips for doing well in gymnastic competitions

If you want to become a great gymnast and do the best you can in gymnastic competitions, there are a few things you can do to supplement the classes you take at a gymnastics school. Here are a few tips to supplement a consistent regimen of practice and preparation and help you excel at this challenging and exciting sport.

1. Identify areas for improvement. Spend time determining your weaker areas and absorbing critiques from coaches and instructors. Find out if you are strong or weak in the areas of artistic presentation, tumbling techniques or other fundamental maneuvers. Spend time honing these areas and practicing proper form and technique.

2. In addition to taking gymnastics classes in the South Bay, many students in the area enroll in gymnastics camps to spend additional time on those weaker areas. This is a great thing to do in the summertime, during winter break and even spring break. Being able to spend lengthier, more focused time receiving professional instruction at gymnastics camps will help you improve areas of weakness and significantly enhance your practice.

3. Do your homework. Watch instructional DVDs and read how-to guides so that you can learn new skills and stay on the cutting edge of new techniques.

4. A great way to improve your skills is to watch other gymnasts participate in gymnastics competitions, on television and even in other classes. You may see new routines and maneuvers that you may not have thought about tackling before.

5. Switch up your workouts. Incorporate additional training such as yoga or stretching to maintain the flexibility you need to perform well. You may also want to do cardio to improve your stamina and endurance, and resistance training to build strength and power.

Whether you participate in a South Bay gymnastics program or attend a gymnastics school in another region, the fundamentals of becoming a great gymnast are the same: education, practice and preparation; a fit, flexible and healthy body; and determination, discipline and sportsmanship.

Image source:

Keys to success in gymnastics competitions

gymnastics competitions
If you look at Team USA’s performance at this year’s Olympics gymnastics competitions, you’ll note that they all exuded impeccable control, balance and strength, as well as speed in the Vault. While it may take quite awhile to make it all look as effortless as the Fierce Five did, enrolling your children in a gymnastics center will help them develop some other integral qualities that Team USA possesses.

Other important elements for students to cultivate, especially if they plan to participate in gymnastics competitions, are precision, focus, and a courageous, ambitious attitude. When competing, students will want to be as precise as possible when executing routines and particular moves. They’re typically judged with specific criteria, so any wobbling, extra steps or mistakes will count against them. This requires absolute focus and concentration—traits that will enhance every other aspect of life as well, from schoolwork and exams to dance and other sports.

Whether your children’s gymnastics center prepares students for competitions or performances, most coaches agree that the three most fundamental attributes for enjoying success as any type of gymnast are flexibility, strength and attitude. While students may be able to work on the first two at gymnastics camps or in classes, attitude is something the parent needs to help with. A stellar attitude is made up of a positive outlook and good sportsmanship, coupled with perseverance, determination and discipline.

Most coaches from gymnastics camps and schools agree that to become a good, or even an elite gymnast, students also need to develop good balance, coordination, agility and cardiovascular endurance. These are traits necessary for everyday life, especially any sports, dance or other physical activities students participate in. The trait that will transcend every aspect of life, however, is what we mentioned above: attitude!

Image source:

Friday, September 28, 2012

What gymnastics classes can take away from the 2012 Olympics

The 2012 Olympics were amazing, and offered a lot of great examples for students of gymnastics classes to learn from, beyond the fact that the “Fierce Five” dominated the competitions overall. The athletes who competed this year are excellent role models and a perfect example of what we want our children to garner from participating in gymnastic competitions.

In addition to the fact that every member of the US team proved they can successfully do the Amanar vault—something very few, if any others, can claim to do—our team as well as team members from other countries displayed leadership and sportsmanship at its best this year. In addition to helping its students develop power, strength and flexibility, a good gymnastics school strives to teach the importance of sportsmanship, teamwork and having respect for others.

For instance, Aliya Mustafina exemplified incredible sportsmanship at the Olympics this year, defying any stereotypes about Russian gymnasts that were constructed in previous years. Instead of crying when she lost the gold in the all around, she celebrated her bronze medal with vigor. She spoke highly in regards to her competitors, stating that the Americans deserved their win. Aliya acted with class and remained positive throughout the all of the gymnastic competitions, setting a stellar example for students of any gymnastics school in any part of the world.

Aly Raisman’s behavior and leadership was also exemplary at the 2012 Olympics. She came home with two gold medals and one bronze, but she deserves an award for remaining a positive leader through thick and thin. She was there for her teammates whenever they needed her, and showed a lot of class when she put her gold around her coach's neck. So sweet and thoughtful, and full of sportsmanship—Aly proved to be another great model for students in gymnastics classes across the world.

Image Credit: Julie Jacobson,

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

How gymnastics classes can make you a star

Gymnastics classes offer a wide range of both social and physical benefits for children—but they can also make your child a star! Olympic gold medal winner Gabby Douglas is the perfect example. Whether your child is in one of our Torrance gymnastics programs or dabbling in a class at school, the discipline they learn will help them excel at any sport or physical activity they try.

Gabby began training in gymnastic classes at the age of six in her hometown of Virginia Beach. By age eight, she was participating in gymnastic competitions and won her first title at the 2004 Virginia State Championships.

From there, Gabby’s participation in gymnastic competitions increased and she soon realized that she needed to get better coaching, prompting a move to Iowa to work with Liang Chow, the former coach or Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson. Her dedication to the sport was unrivalled among her peers, and in 2011 she participated on the U.S. team at the City of Jesolo Trophy in Italy, where they won the gold medal. She also was a part of the U.S. team at the 2011 World Championships in Tokyo, where they also won the gold. Gabby won the gold at the 2012 U.S. National Championships in uneven bars, a silver medal in the all-around, and bronze in floor. This was a strong foreshadowing of her future at the 2012 Summer Olympics.

At the Summer Olympics this year, Gabby was a part of the U.S. team that won the gold medal, but went on to win the gold medal in the individual all-around. She is the first African-American woman to win the event and the first American to win the Gold for the team and individual all-around at the same Olympics.

As Gabby’s career demonstrates, gymnastics classes provide more than just strength and flexibility training, it teaches them focus, dedication and discipline, as well as belief in striving to achieve your dreams. When you sign your child up for one of our Torrance gymnastics classes, you’re really signing them up to develop tools that will help them reach all their goals in life.

Friday, September 7, 2012

What to wear to gymnastic classes

You’ve found the perfect gymnastics center for your children and they’re so excited to get started—so now what? It’s time to make sure that they have the proper clothing that will keep them safe and free to perform all the activities required during class.

Some facilities have strict clothing policies for their students, so make sure you check with the gymnastics school you’ve chosen to see what their specific rules and guidelines are. Whether it’s a Torrance gymnastics school your child will be attending or another in the Los Angeles area, all gymnastic classes include a lot of stretching and some rigorous physical movements, so you need to ensure that they wear something sturdy yet comfortable that won’t hinder their range of motion. If a child is wearing something uncomfortable or restricting, they won’t be able to perform all the movements and could even injure themselves trying.

One of the most typical apparel items that girls wear to gymnastics classes is a leotard. While it covers the upper body, it still leaves the arms and legs free so that their movement is unrestricted. Often times, boys will wear a t-shirt and athletic shorts or sweat pants. Whether your child is attending a Torrance gymnastics school or any other in the area, they will most likely restrict children from wearing anything with zippers, snaps or other embellishments that could get caught during a movement. In addition, it’s best to make sure the clothes are not too baggy, as the instructors need to see the movement and the student’s muscles to ensure their form is correct.

Another requirement by almost every gymnastics center is that girls pull long hair back and away from their faces so it doesn’t get caught on anything and so that it stays out of their eyes. In addition, jewelry and socks should not be worn to a gymnastics school.

Image credit:

Friday, August 31, 2012

What to look for in a gymnastics center

Registering your children at a gymnastics center is a great way to help them develop strength, coordination, flexibility and self-confidence, while building their social skills. Whether your children are interested in gymnastics as a sport or just for fun, it’s a practice that requires focus and impeccable training. Therefore, it’s important to find a gymnastics school that offers excellent instruction in the safest manner possible. You probably want to bring your children with you to get a sense of how they feel when they enter the school. Plus, they will get excited about the prospect of learning this new movement!

Here are a few things to look for when you check out a potential gymnastics center:

A clean, well-lit facility with safe equipment. There should be a wide range of equipment available so that children can practice at their appropriate level. Check with the instructors to make sure the balance beams are sturdy, that all equipment is in good condition and that there is adequate padding throughout. If you are looking for toddlers classes in gymnastics, ask if they have equipment that is the right sizes for little ones. Also keep an eye out for a good gymnast-instructor ratio as students should be monitored at all times in a class—instructors should also be spotting the children.

Happy children. Watch how the instructors at the gymnastics school interact with their students, as well as how the children react to them. There should be lots of movement taking place in class, so everyone should be very busy. There should always be a sense of discipline and order, even when you’re looking for toddlers classes in gymnastics. At the same time, all students should be enjoying themselves in the class.

Parent observation area. Every good gymnastics school will have an area where parents and visitors can watch the class. This shows that the gymnastics center you are considering is comfortable observing the interaction between instructors and students.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Join the performance team at our gymnastics center!

Taking gymnastics classes is an amazing way to help your children gain substantial strength, coordination and flexibility, while developing discipline through determination and perseverance. The benefits of a gymnastics practice are varied and include many that are non-physical.

Participating in a performance team at a gymnastics center takes all these benefits to another level. Learning to perform builds self-esteem, as well as the confidence to do your best when people are watching. This leads to fearlessness when public speaking or performing in ways other than gymnastics.

In addition to the extensive physical benefits that children gain by taking gymnastics classes, joining a performance team helps develop a wide-range of character traits and good habits that transcend every area of life. Participants learn about time management, dedication, cooperation and sportsmanship, and develop a sense of teamwork and respect for others. They learn to listen well and follow directions, as well as communicate with their peers, which promotes social interaction. As a result, children experience increased self-confidence, discipline and a great work ethic.

The Performance Gymnastics Team at Studio West Gymnastics center is a fun, fast and fierce program that teaches participants the fundamentals of movement while helping them to develop power, balance and the principles of showmanship. Research shows that children who participate in gymnastic competitions and on performance teams develop skills that significantly enhance their skills and abilities in other sports and physical activities.

Whether your child wants to participate in gymnastics competitions or practice the sport just for fun, participating in Studio West’s fun, fast and fierce program will put your child in the spotlight and make their hearts soar. Everyone participates and is part of the team at our gymnastics center. Sign-ups start September 1, 2012 and run through the performance date, December 1, 2012.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The health benefits of gymnastic classes

Children benefit from participating in any sport—and gymnastics classes are no different. They are a fun way to help your child develop a passion for living a healthy lifestyle at an early age. In addition, enrollment at a gymnastic school helps children to develop socially as well.

Gymnastics classes provide one of the most comprehensive exercise programs available to children. They include strength and flexibility training, while helping children to develop their coordination, motor skills, power and speed. Gymnastics also helps children develop good static and dynamic balance, which helps with learning to fall without injury. Enrolling your child in a center for gymnastics also helps instill discipline in a way that is fun and challenging.

The strength that gymnasts develop, whether the sport is done recreationally or competitively, is amazing. Gymnasts are typically the strongest of all Olympic athletes, boasting an unrivalled strength-to-weight ratio. Those who attend a gymnastics school also tend to be the most flexible of all athletes and develop excellent overall body awareness, which is beneficial to all other sports, workouts, and daily physical activities.

Athletes like gymnasts build the foundation for the healthiest life possible. Participating in regular workouts at an early age significantly reduces the risk of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease during adulthood, and helps to build muscle strength and memory that can last a lifetime.

In addition, those who regularly attend a gymnastics center get progressively stronger as they continue their practice, which leads to the development of lean muscle mass, strong balance and improved posture. Gymnasts also learn to listen well and follow rules at a young age, while developing skills that will transcend and enhance any other sports they participate in. Even more importantly, they learn how to set goals and gain self-esteem and confidence from their participation and accomplishments in the sport.